Whether in business or football, all interim managers need certain skills to succeed. The use of interim managers is on the increase in both areas, so we’ve created an infographic to look at this growing trend.

Our analysis

The infographic covers three areas: firstly, we analysed ten interims in the Premier League era to see how they compared to their full time predecessors; then we took an in depth look at Chelsea, perhaps the club who use interim managers more than any other, before finally asking the ultimate question: “Who is the King of Interim?”

Chelsea Power Show

The revealing statistics clearly show that, at Chelsea, interim managers enjoy more success than at any other club. Perhaps this is because the use of interims is embedded in the club’s culture from season-to-season?

For example, Rafael Benitez’ contentious tenure as interim manager came to an end recently with victory in the Europa League final. Add to that Guus Hiddink’s FA Cup triumph as interim manager in 2009 and Roberto Di Matteo’s Champions League and FA Cup double success in 2012, and you’ve got a compelling picture of interims thriving at Stamford Bridge.

Deliver the results

Whether in the changing room or the meeting room, professional interims need to cope with entering often chaotic environments where team performance is poor and stakeholder support is non-existent. It is their job to transform the situation presented and deliver the results required. This is where Benitez truly succeeded this season. Although his appointment was unpopular with the fans, he weathered the storm by moulding the different personalities and skills at the club together and delivered not just change, but sustainable change, where the positive effects of his tenure should remain after his departure. Perhaps the last word is best left with Benitez himself after his Europa success:

“It has been a great experience. We’ve taken a team, a team in transition with young players and now we have left a good team with more experience, with good character, scoring goals, more balance. I think it will be good for the next manager, because he will have a very good team.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts on interim managers in football and the infographic we have created. Please share your opinions in the comments below.

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  • Neil Birkbeck

    A very interesting article and a new spin on the use of Interims. Might be very different if it were not for Chelsea and their merry-go-round of managers, which looks like to continue with yesterdays news of the return of the Special One. Maybe the next article could be ‘ How successful are managers who go back to jobs!’

  • Converto Consulting

    Very interesting article and infographic. What does this tell us about decision making process and success of Owners and Chairmen who appointed the full time managers and the interims? The comparison with football is also interesting because the succes of the Interims tells us that the foundation for success was in place but the manager had ‘lost the dressing room’ or ‘the shop floor’.

    Football also tells us that good managers, full time or interim, still depend on competent well motivated professionals - without which you get relegated or wound up.

  • Nigel Peters

    Thanks for the comments. I
    always say never go back, but in the world of interim, it is what we ask our
    guys to do all the time, but not necessarily in the same company. In terms of
    foundations for success, I always work on the adage of people, process, systems
    and structure – but great people can enable the rest; and then it is important
    to do something – doing nothing achieves just that….